“If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.” - Warren Buffet
Once, there was a village on an island whose only direct source of water was a well a few miles from where the village stood. The residents were getting tired of having to fetch water from the well themselves, so they decided to find people who could deliver them a steady water supply.
Two men volunteered to take on this challenge. The first one immediately bought a bucket and started hauling buckets full of water to and from the well. He worked long hours, day in and day out, to provide water for the villagers. He was so happy that the second volunteer seemed to have disappeared, and so he was the only water supplier for several weeks. He got so popular in the village that the residents started calling him Bucketman.
The second volunteer did not entirely disappear, however. Instead of acting impulsively, he spent the next few weeks developing a plan. After considering different options, one of which was directly competing with Bucketman by also hauling buckets of water, he decided that the most innovative solution was to buy a long garden hose and connect the village to the well via this hose. After some time, he accomplished this and provided the village with a steady stream of water from the hose. Because he was not preoccupied with manually hauling water all day, he could carry out stage two of his plan. He bought a second, even longer hose using the money he was generating from the first one to connect the far side of the village to the well. Once he accomplished this, he doubled his income. Using that influx of money, he proceeded with stage three of his plan to connect the village to a lake beyond the mountain on the island’s opposite end. Before this, the villagers did not consider this lake an option for their water source as the trek over the mountain was too dangerous and required a lot of hard work.
Bucketman felt intimidated by his competition’s success and decided to buy a second bucket and started hauling two buckets at once. He also employed his son to carry water at night. Both of them were doing 12-hour shifts, seven days a week, to match the competition.
Hoseman continued improving his plan and eventually provided each house in the village with direct access to the water supply.
Bucketman worked hard but eventually lost out to Hoseman. The villagers preferred the steady stream of water supply in their homes, so he lost his customers. Over the years, all that heavy lifting took a toll on his and his son’s back. They were always working opposite shifts, so they did not have a great family life. And soon, he found himself with no other marketable skills, out of work, and with nothing to show for it.
Hoseman, on the other hand, did not have to do any manual labour. He ensured that his plan was effective. And because he invested his time planning at the start, he had a lot of free time after —- spending quality time with his family, looking after his health and fitness, and finding other business opportunities in other villages. He also ended up retiring early and did things that he enjoyed most in life.